Monday, March 9, 2009

"All [Fairy] Folk Love Stories"

“In New York Between, mortals don’t call the shots. The Fairy Folk do.”

Neef is a Changeling, a human baby stolen by fairies and replaced with one of their own. She lives in “New York Between,” a Manhattan that exists invisibly, side by side with our own, home to fairies, demons, mermaids, and other creatures of Folk lore. Neef has always been protected by her fairy godmother, Astris (a very lovely white rat), until she breaks a Fairy Law. Now unless she can meet the challenge of the Green Lady of Central Park, she’ll be sacrificed to the bloodthirsty Wild Hunt. Neef is a native New Yorker, and she’s determined to beat the rap- but New York Between is a maze of magic and magical rules, and time is running out…

Title: Changeling
Author: Delia Sherman
Series: New York Between, Book 1
Start & Finished: 11/23/08- 11/25/08
Published: 2006
Publisher: Viking Penguin Group
Pages: 292 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA- Fantasy, Adventure

While writing her short story CATNYP for the Faery Reel anthology edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, Delia Sherman realized that Neef’s story just wouldn’t be able to stop after thirty pages so with a little encouragement, Ms. Sherman wrote Changeling. Unlike Neef’s first appearance, in Changeling she’s still a child but that spunkiness that she had in the short story isn’t something she developed as she got older! There is a great cast of faeries and fictional characters from classic stories as well that help and hinder Neef through her adventures as well.

Even though I loved her short story in The Faery Reel, which led me to pick up this book in the first place, I never expected to like it so much! Delia Sherman combines faery tales and folklore with children’s literature and even a little pop culture too. It’s undoubtedly young adult fantasy but there are many adults who would enjoy the story and the strong sense of nostalgia it brings to mind. Besides, not many kids will get some of the little jokes like when the vampire says Honey (a Shirley Temple look-alike vampire) should audition for the part of Little Miss Marker because she is “born for it” when the actual Shirley Temple played the part in 1934. There are quite a few others as well but they are generally very subtle.

I have an affinity for mythology and faerie (fairy) folklore so that was a major part of the charm of the story for me besides of course being a new twist on the old hero-on-a-quest fairy tale. New York itself is a place I only know about through books and movies but Sherman was able to bring it’s counterpart- the New York Between- to life in glittering detail. Broadway, Wall Street, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum, New York Harbor and a few places in the middle all show up in the book and even though I’ve never been to New York myself, I doubt even natives (like the author) would be able to look at these places the same way again!

In a recent interview, the author said that she had just finished the sequel to Changeling called The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen and is already hard at work on writing a proposal for another book in the series. She also claims to be “working on some short stories set in the same world of New York Between in different eras, with different protagonists” too so I can’t wait!

Links: Author Wikipedia, Cover Artist Website,
Interviews: Chasing Ray, The Dragon Page (audio podcast), The Nebula Award, The Knight News

Neef’s riddle: Needle feet, feather pelt, candle eyes, engine belly. Who am I?

Picture Explanations:
Statue of Liberty:
Neef and Changeling visit the New York harbor (well underwater anyway) and can hear the Statue talking to boats and people passing by.
Peter Pan on Broadway: The second part of the quest is to get tickets to Peter Pan
Gold: The Dragon of Wall Street sleeps on mountains of gold and other precious gems.


  1. Another cool find. Thanks Lady_tink!

  2. I started reading this before I went away in January but I just wasn't feeling it. I put it aside and read some other things, but it's still there on my dresser watching me while I sleep hoping I'll pick it up again soon.

    Neef was irritating me to be honest. ;) I will be going back to it because I want to read it when I can devote more than a couple minutes a day to a book. I think it would be more interesting then.

  3. I love books about fairys and well, anything paranormal. This sounds wonderful!!

  4. This sounds amazing. I can't believe I haven't read any Delia Sherman yet!

  5. You read some awesome books. I hadn't heard of this one but I definitely wanted to check it out :)

  6. ScifiGuy: If you read and like the anthology, I hope you try this series too! Thanks :)

    Cat: I'm not sure if reading the short story of her as a teenager made this story better for me or not. I did love seeing all the fey creatures and how stuff that we treasure becomes real in the faerie world like Rat from The Wind in the Willows. Aw Cat, I thought for sure you'd get the riddle (hint, hint lol)

    Wendy: Me too!

    Nymeth: She's wrote a few things but I think she's mainly a short story author until this series. It's a REALLY great book!

    Naida: Thanks.

    Samantha: I doubt I would have heard anything about this one either until she was on her fourth or fifth book if I hadn't stumbled across the anthololgy with the original Neef story in it and fell in love! I really hope you're able to get it :)

  7. I'm glad to hear this is really good! It's on my TBR; I think I'll probably get to it in May.

  8. Good to know it follows on from a short story as I have this to read also this year. I will make sure I read the short story before getting around to this. It's also good to know there is more story to come.

  9. Ooh, I have to read this! I read Sherman's The Porcelain Dove maybe ten years ago, and I have vague recollections of it - sounds like it's time to try something new by this author! I'll try to read this before our trip to NYC in April. :-)



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